Summer Institutes

Basic Arts Institutes

AAEC began offering a Basic Arts Institute  in Juneau in 2003. Basic Arts Institutes, now offered statewide, are two-week intensive, summer opportunities for educators to learn how to use the arts to motivate and increase student learning.


The Basic Arts Institute is the  signature summer institute of the AAEC, this two week intensive is designed for teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators to experience how the arts can increase student performance, engagement and motivation in grades K – 12. Participants learn to integrate a variety of art forms (visual, storytelling, drama, music, movement/dance, traditional cultural arts, media arts) into curriculum and instruction. Daily 90-minute sessions focus on current brain research, performing arts, visual arts and Native arts. Teachers practice art techniques, learn how to adapt arts activities for students experiencing special needs, read and discuss articles, visit local community arts venues, design an integrated lesson plan, and reflect on their experiences with colleagues and in daily journals. In addition, each Basic Arts Institute is tailored to meet the needs and interests of the district and community hosting the institute. Participants earn 4 graduate credits. (* During the Sitka BAI teachers will interact with and observe the Sitka Fine Arts Camp)

Participants at Institutes –

  • Learn how to integrate the arts (visual, drama, music & Native cultural arts) into their school curriculum
  • Work with and learn from Alaska Native Elders
  • Understand the impact of the arts on student performance, motivation and brain activity
  • Experience the production, criticism & appreciation of art
  • Form a cadre of teachers in the arts across Alaska

11,800+ Alaska students now receiving more arts education from teachers trained at AAEC institutes

Special Topics Institutes

Since 2005, AAEC has held 20 special topics Institutes.  These range from Advanced Institutes to Special Education and the Arts Institutes to Cultural Institutes that annually rotate around the State.  Most of these Institutes are one week long, but some are two week.  The schedule reflects what has worked for us before…theory and history start the day before the hands-on involvement in the arts begins.  The participants learn to integrate the arts as above.  Credit is available and final lesson plans or PPA’s (personal plans of action for those without a classroom, ie speech therapists, etc.) are required.

2017 AAEC Summer Arts Institutes

The Alaska Arts Education Consortium will offer five distinct arts institutes scheduled in the  summer of 2017.

Download Printable Institute Fliers:

Registration is now open for 2017 Summer Institutes:

  • Sitka Basic Arts Institute
    June 5, 2017 - June 16, 2017
    8:00 am - 12:00 pm

2017 Sitka Basic Arts Institute

Unraveling the Layers:  Arts, Culture and Technology Integration (2 weeks)

Sitka, June 5-16, Hosted on the Sitka Fine Arts Campus

“The People of the Northwest Coast were rich. Their sea even richer.

They were enormously energetic, and they centered their society

around what was to them the essence of life: what we now call ‘art’.”

Bill Reid, Haida Artist

Legend tells us that the art, science and technology of weaving a naaxein, or Chilkat robe, was learned by unraveling, studying and reconstructing a robe given to the Tlingit by the Tsimshian. Our SSD Arts, Culture & Technology Committee is sponsoring a dynamic Basic Arts Institute for K-12 educators. In this two-week summer program participants will unravel and examine culturally responsive instruction by investigating current brain research, a variety of arts, and innovative technology. Participants in this institute will:

  • Develop an integrated lesson to use in the 2017-18 school year
  • Explore techniques for integrating the arts and technology into various curriculum areas
  • Work closely with teaching artists and culture bearers
“On the boat, watching the expanse of the land unfold before my eyes. 

Knowing it looked exactly like this 200 years ago 1,000 years ago. 

Imagining and visualizing life as a young… on the shores of the bay i

s a glimpse of what loss of Native lands 

meant to the people in terms of the tragic stories told.”  

(Participant, Sitka Advanced Arts Institute 2016)

In partnership with the Alaska Arts Education Consortium, teaching artists were recruited from around the state and the lower 48, and the ACT Committee chose the following team:

Shelly Toon Lindberg: Shelley is a visual artist, teaching artist, and creative collaborator based in Hood River, Oregon. She loves working with students of all ages to explore interdisciplinary connections, environmental awareness, and intercultural understanding while asserting that we all have something of value to express through the arts.

Nathan Shafer: Nathan is a media artist living in Alaska specializing in augmented reality and digital humanities. He has received two Rasmuson Individual Artist Awards. His work with the Anchorage School District focuses on middle school students and autism.

Kathleen Kingsley: Kathleen is a teaching artist, dancer, choreographer and K-8 teacher based in Tecolote, New Mexico. She has received training with the Kennedy Center. Kathleen has taught workshops in introduction to arts/dance integrations in general, on movement and brain development, and on integrating dance within the context of Expeditionary Learning.

George Holly: George is Koyukon Athabaskan. His family comes from Holy Cross. He is the 2014 recipient of the Rasmuson Foundation Artist Fellow award. He has been writing and performing original music for 20 years using his talents to support the native language revitalization movement in Alaska.

After you complete your registration, please return to this page or go to to complete the Sitka Fine Arts Camp housing request form. 

Sitka Fine Arts Camp Housing Request form for 2017 

(907-747-3085, (more…)

  • Juneau 'Basic and Beyond' Arts Institute
    July 24, 2017 - August 4, 2017
    8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Juneau ‘Basic and Beyond’ Arts Institute

Scholarships for 20 Juneau, Angoon or Hoonah teachers have been increased!

Attention Juneau, Angoon and Hoonah Teachers:   Sealaska is supporting this Institute through grant funds and has increased the scholarship offer to 20 teachers only.  Sealaska will cover the cost of your registration ($495) and will pay each teacher $250 per week or a total of $500 for attending the Institute. This will be paid directly to you when you finish the Institute and submit required lesson plan.  (The number of people signed will be monitored and once 20 is reached we will start a waitlist and note that here.)

Total scholarships offered–20   Scholarships presently available–10 (updated 4/23)

About this Institute

This year the 2-week Basic Arts Institute is taking on a new look.  We are partnering with UAS on their inaugural year of ‘The Rainforest Series’.

During the first week participants will work with teacher-leaders to learn how to apply brain research into their classroom practice and understand how the arts increase student engagement and achievement. Participants will experience various art forms and explore activities that they can use to integrate the visual and performing arts into their classrooms/curriculums. Participants will begin work on a final project–a detailed lesson plan that is part of a larger instructional unit that integrates the arts and reflects the use of local indigenous knowledge and art forms in K-12 classrooms.  These will be completed, with on-going assistance, during the second week.

The second week the Basic attendees will join in ‘The Rainforest Series’.  This includes 3 days of writing, visual art, and performing art in the context of ‘Indigenous Arts Embody Living History’. During this time the Basic co-hort will continue to consider their curriculum and how they can integrate a strong cultural component into their lesson plan.   On Thursday of the second week the co-hort will work with the Basic and Beyond teacher-leader to complete their work and on Friday share in the final presentations and celebration with all participants from both weeks.

Rainforest-Flyer.pdf (12 downloads)


Juneau-Basic-2017-final.pdf (122 downloads)


“The whole program was woven together – amazingly well thoughout.”  (Participant, Nome Basic Arts Institute 2016)

The Institute will begin with a welcome dinner on Sunday, July 23rd and will conclude mid-day on August 4, 2017.   All educators are welcome. Housing is available on-campus for an additional cost.

Registration Notes:  When you register please pay a $50 deposit to hold your spot.

If you are paying your own registration (this includes those whose district will reimburse them when complete) go to Institute Registration. There you can pay the $50 deposit with paypal, or credit cards.  This can be applied to your total costs.  Your deposit will be refunded if you cancel 30 or more days in advance.

If your registration fee will be paid by your district or another organization, please choose the option that says Reserve a Spot Deposit. Your deposit will be refunded after your registration is paid in full, or if you cancel 30 or more days in advance.


  • Anchorage Arts are Exceptional Institute
    July 31, 2017 - August 4, 2017
    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Arts are Exceptional:  Strategies in Arts Integration for working with SPED Students (1 week)

Anchorage, Anchorage School District  •  July 31 – August 4  •  Registration deadline April 27th

This five day AAEC Special Topics Arts Institute is an opportunity for educators, teaching artists, and para-professionals from all regions of Alaska to learn how to increase participation in the arts for students with disabilities through readings and discussions, hands-on arts activities and multi-media presentations.


Expert teacher-leaders will lead daily sessions in theory and application and participants will actively investigate visual  and performing arts, focusing on best practices when working with students with disabilities.  Teacher-leaders will represent a variety of the arts including visual, drama, music and movement.  Each participant will develop either a lesson plan or a PPA (personal plan of action) showing how they will apply what they have learned to increase art participation.  Three (3) Ed 597 credits are available; register at beginning of institute.

“Art can level the playing field for students with disabilities.”  (Participant, Fairbanks Arts are Exceptional Institute, 2016, photo above)

A poster advertising this institute is below:

2017-Anchorage-Arts-are-Exceptional-Final.pdf (124 downloads)

  • Sitka Cultural Arts Institute
    August 9, 2017 - August 13, 2017
    8:00 am - 12:00 pm

UAS Credit – Three 593 credits are available to participants at the cost of $100 – payable to UAS on the first day of class.


If you have questions about the Institute, please leave a message in the comments section below or e-mail

(AAEC institutes are supported by District membership, participants, local school districts, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Sealaska Heritage Institute, Kennedy Center VSA, Norton Sound Economic Development Council and Margaret A. Cargill Foundation funds for professional development of new teachers.)

Arts are Exceptional:  Strategies in Art Integration for Working with SPED Students @ Bering Straits School District
May 22 @ 8:00 am – May 26 @ 5:00 pm
Sitka Basic Arts Institute @ SEEAC Buliding - Sitka
Jun 5 @ 8:00 am – Jun 16 @ 12:00 pm
Juneau Basic and Beyond Arts Institute @ University Alaska Southeast - Juneau Campus
Jul 24 @ 8:00 am – Aug 4 @ 7:30 pm
UAS Rainforest Series Inagural Year: Indigenous Arts @ University of Alaska Southeast
Jul 30 – Aug 4 all-day

The University of Alaska Southeast is unveiling a new summer event entitled Summer in the Rainforest.  This year the theme of the week-long event is Indigenous Arts Embody Living History.

Participants will recognize that individual lives create Living History. All participants will gain meaningful understanding and respect for the depth and significance of place. They will receive the unique experience offered here, in the heart of Auk K’waan.

Anchorage Arts are Exceptional Institute @ Service High School
Jul 31 @ 8:00 am – Aug 4 @ 5:00 pm
Sitka Cultural Arts Institute @ SEEAC Building, Sitka
Aug 9 @ 8:00 am – Aug 13 @ 5:00 pm



2016 Institutes

During the summer of 2016, AAEC successfully held 5 Arts Institutes–more than ever in one summer.  These institutes were diverse in focus and geographically in Alaska.  They were (in chronological order):

Point Hope Inupiat Cultural Arts Institute.  One-week, 20 teachers from NSBSD and Nome, 3 wonderful Inupiaq teacher-leaders taught about the culture participants learned about the history, language, and traditional practices including dancing, carving, and sewing.  Partnering with AAEC was the North Slope Borough School District.

Sitka Advanced Arts Institute.  One-week, 16 teachers from Sitka, Kenai and Lower Kuskokwim School Districts, 4 teacher-leaders taught about Tlingit and Yupik cultures, dance/movement, visual art, and deep integration studies and research that would continue through the next school year.  Partnering with AAEC was the Sitka School District, Sitka Tribe, and Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

Juneau Basic Arts Institute. Two-weeks.  16 teachers, representing Juneau, Ketchikan and Kodiak School Districts.  4 teacher-leaders taught about S.E. culture, visual art, music, movement and theory. Partners with AAEC are the Sealaska Heritage Foundation and the Juneau School District, with support from the Kennedy Center VSA program.

Nome Basic Arts Institute.  Two-weeks.  20 teachers, representing Nome, Bering Straits, Kuspuk, Anchorage and Wasilla School Districts.  5 teacher-leaders taught Yupik and Inupiaq cultures, visual art, arts in technology, movement and had a strong strand in special education and the arts.  Partnering with AAEC was Nome and Bering Straits School District, Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation and support from the Kennedy Center VSA program.

Fairbanks Arts are Exceptional Institute.  One-week.  45 teachers from Fairbanks, Bering Straits, Lower Yukon, Yukon-Koyukuk, Mat-Su, Alaska Gateway, Delta Greely, Northwest Arctic, Sitka, Valdez, Anchorage Districts.  4 teacher-leaders taught special education and the arts theory, visual art, movement, and music.  Partnering with AAEC was the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District and the Kennedy Center VSA program

2015 Institutes

AAEC held three institutes during 2015:  The Sitka ACT Institute (Arts, Culture & Technology), Juneau Basic Institute, and the Bethel Yup’ik Institute.

32 educators attended the Sitka 1-week Institute.

30 Educators attended the 2-week Basic Arts Institute

2014 Institutes

2014 Institutes Mat-Su – Basic Arts Institute

July 28 – August 7, 2014 • HOSTED BY: Mat-Su School District • 4 UAS ED593 Credits



Ketchikan – Basic Arts Institute

August 4-15, 2014 • 4 UAS ED593 Credits


Fairbanks – Special Topics – Athabascan Arts Institute

June 1-6, 2014 Twin Bears Camp, Fairbanks, Alask


Kenai – Special Topics – Celebrating All Abilities Arts Institute

June 2-6, 2014



2013 Institutes

In the summer of 2013, AAEC offered two 2-week Basic Arts Institutes in Sitka and Nome, and one week long Special Topics Institute focused on Alutiiq Cultural Arts in Kodiak.

Nome Institute Basic Arts Institute Video by Katie Basile

Kodiak Alutiiq Arts Institute Video by Sara Thomas

For more information about hosting or attending a future institute, contact AAEC Executive Director: MK MacNaughton at, 907-957-2061